Optus wins $500m ANZ telco deal

Optus has won Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's five-year, $500 million managed telecommunications and network overhaul contract.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Optus has won Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's five-year, $500 million managed telecommunications and network overhaul contract.

The deal will see both Singtel and Australian subsidiary Optus provide managed network services to ANZ's global operations as well as overhaul the bank's current infrastructure to provide a single voice and data network.

Prior to the deal, signed last month following a tender process that began mid-2008, Optus had only provided the bank's mobile and voice services, while Telstra provided local data services and Orange provided international voice services. The new deal brings the bank's entire network requirements under a single umbrella.

"This consolidated approach to telecommunications services will help support our growth strategy across the region," David Cartwright, ANZ's group managing director of its Operations, Technology and Shared Services division said in a statement.

Other telcos believed to have placed bids included Telstra, BT, AAPT and Orange.

The deal will cover ANZ's 30 Asia-Pacific operation centres, and its Indian operations in Bangalore, which at last week's earnings update the bank said it had expanded in an attempt to squeeze operational costs out. ANZ currently has 34,000 staff.

Cisco is expected to be a major winner under the deal, which includes the deployment of around 20,000 Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) phones and 40 Cisco TelePresence video conference units. Optus' integration and services unit, Alphawest, will spearhead the network overhaul, including switches and routers. ANZ had already installed several TelePresence units, which cost around $350,000 each, at its Bangalore and Melbourne headquarters.

A majority of the new video-conferencing units will be located at ANZ's new Melbourne headquarters at the Docklands estate, which is expected to be open later this year. Expected to be deployed there also are 7,000 Cisco phones.

Cartwright flagged the potential to provide video-conferencing facilities at branches "to give branch customers in remote locations the ability to talk to our banking specialists".

The Optus win follows a recent loss to Telstra, which two weeks ago was confirmed to have won the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) $1 billion 10-year managed network services contract. CBA also planned an overhaul of network infrastructure as part of the deal, but is yet to announce suppliers.

Locally, Alphawest will manage the roll out of a new data network for around 850 of ANZ's retail branches, alongside management of ANZ's call centre infrastructure. The retail network overhaul is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

ANZ is also yet to announce a replacement to former chief information officer Peter Dalton who was removed from the lead role following an executive reshuffle late last year.

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